Outsourced Identity Provider

By Vince Lujan Posted March 27, 2018

outsourced identity provider

An outsourced identity provider (IdP) can be highly advantageous for cloud-forward IT organizations. The challenge for IT admins is to find an outsourced identity provider that can replace on-prem IdPs like Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD).

Fortunately, a new solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® has come to market that is effectively Active Directory and LDAP reimagined for modern networks. The question is, why do IT organizations need a cloud IdP in the first place?

A Brief History of the Identity Provider

identity management active directory

The concept of the identity provider is nothing new in IT organizations. In fact, admins have always needed the ability to manage user access to IT resources. That’s why developers have created a number of directory services solutions to help. Perhaps the most notable in recent memory is Active Directory.

AD was introduced in 1999 to provide user and system management capabilities for Windows® based IT resources, which were dominant at the time. It was one of the first solutions that could manage both users and systems from one central management platform. Needless to say, IT admins loved it. However, AD does have a number of limitations that cannot be ignored – especially for modern networks.

For one, Active Directory is an on-prem implementation that requires a village of savvy IT admins to implement and maintain. Further, the native capabilities of AD work well with Windows-based IT resources – but require third party tools to manage other platforms well.

First Generation Outsourced Identity Providers

Identity and Access Management Pyramid

The limitations of AD inspired the creation of a large number of Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions. They were called IDaaS solutions because they were delivered as a service, and federated on-prem identities to web applications (e.g., Single Sign-On) and beyond. While this approach has proven to be effective, the issue with first generation IDaaS solutions is they must be layered on top of an existing IdP and they are effectively siloed to the resources they were designed to support.

IT admins can’t continue piling add-ons on top of AD in the hopes of mitigating their management woes – especially as more IT resources shift to the cloud. The good news is that a next generation outsourced identity provider, called JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, has emerged that is disrupting the status quo.

Directory-as-a-Service: Outsourced Identity Provider


JumpCloud consolidates IT management for cloud-forward organizations into One Directory to Rule Them All®. The JumpCloud IdP platform securely manages and connects users to just about any IT resource – regardless of the platform, provider, protocol, or whether they are on-prem or in the cloud. JumpCloud will work to securely manage and connect users to systems (Windows, Mac®, Linux®), cloud and on-prem applications (G Suite, Salesforce®, Jira®, OpenVPN), cloud and on-prem files and storage systems (Google Drive, Box®, Samba file servers, NAS appliances), and even wired and WiFi networks. All of which is delivered from a centralized management platform that is available from anywhere with an internet connection. In doing so, we put the power to choose the best IT resources for the organization back where it belongs, in the hands of IT admins.

Learn More About Directory-as-a-Service

Get Started and Learn more about JumpCloud

Contact a member of the JumpCloud team and schedule a demo if you are interested in learning more about JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service. You can also sign up for a free account today and see an outsourced identity provider in action. Your first ten users are free forever to help you discover everything that JumpCloud has to offer – risk free.

Vince Lujan

Vince is a writer and videographer at JumpCloud. Originally from a small village just outside of Albuquerque, he now calls Boulder home. When Vince is not developing content for JumpCloud, he can usually be found doing creek stuff.

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